A great thing to do in Arundel West Sussex, is to visit Swanbourne Lake! In this post I share everything you need to know about the Swanbourne Lake walk. I also included information on row boat hire for a fun ‘warm weather’ activity, where to park and a nice little cake shop in Arundel village that you should check out!
Swanbourne Lake Arundel
Swanbourne Lake Parking
There is on road parking along Mill Road. However a good option for somewhere to park when visiting Swanbourne Lake, is in the Mill Road car park. You’ll find lots of space, public toilets and the Arundel Museum. It’s right opposite the entrance to Arundel Castle too.
🗺Mill Rd, Arundel BN18 9PA
💰3hrs £2.50 | 4hrs £3.50 | All day £5
Swanbourne Lake Walk
🏁Start/End Point: Mill Road Car Park
🚶🏻♀️Distance: 3.5km/2.1 miles
🕖Duration: Approximately 1 hour with a couple of photo stops
🏞Trail: Mostly flat
When parking in the Mill Road car park, it’s roughly a 0.5 mile walk to the lake (almost a 1 mile round trip). It’s quite a nice walk in itself. There’s a wide path that runs alongside the River Arun. At several points you can see Arundel Castle up on the hill behind the trees.
Along the route you pass Mill Road Playground and Mill Road Putting Green & Cafe. This is an 18 hole mini golf course that costs £5 per adult and £4.50 for children.
A little further on there is a bridge that crosses part of the river. The pedestrian path has a few steps, leading to a smaller bridge. Or to avoid the steps you can stay on the main road. However there is NO PATH on the road, so take care of approaching vehicles.
From the pedestrian bridge, cross the road and follow the path across the grass towards the lake. The circular route around Swanbourne Lake is just over a mile in length. I followed the trail in a clockwise direction. The trail is quite good quality with only a few very small inclines.
At some points you are able to see the lake, but most of the route is lined with trees or fields. If visiting with smaller children, this does create a barrier from the waters edge. (The section in front of the tearoom is right beside the lake). There are some walking trails that branch off into the surrounding fields, some of which have sheep in them. The lake is home to many ducks and a lot of other birds.
Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom
As you come to the end of the lakeside trail, you’ll reach Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom. This is a Grade II listed building dating back to 1852. It has a drinks menu with breakfast food, hot meals, sandwiches, snacks and homemade cakes. The tearoom is open year round and has indoor and outdoor seating or takeaway options. The toilets have a turnstile entrance and cost 20p.
Swanbourne Lake Boat Hire
At Swanbourne Lodge you can find the Swanbourne Lake boat hire. There are 15 boats and it operates on a first come, first served basis. The boat hire is closed between the end of November and mid March. During off peak times the boat rental may only be available on the weekends. Rentals are 30 minutes in duration and cost £4 per adult and £3 per child.
Walking back to Arundel
Once you reach Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom, there’s a gate that exits the lake trail. This small section is along the main road, so use caution. Eventually you will rejoin the path along Mill Road, close to the bridge. The rest of the walk doubles back on the route taken to reach the lake. We decided to walk down the opposite side of the road, just to make it different. There’s a path of either side of the road.
Things To Do In Arundel
If you didn’t stop for a snack at Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom, a great place to visit is the LG Cafe on Tarrant Street. The decor is bright and colourful with puns and funny statements dotted all around. They serve a range of yummy homemade cakes and treats. It was hard to choose just one, so I had two. It’s a nice reward at the end of the walk!
As mentioned above, there’s also Arundel Castle, Arundel Museum and several other restaurants, cafes and pubs.